This chicken represents everything Nadia Roden likes about her mother's cooking: sweetness mixed with spices and savory flavors.Plus: More Chicken Recipes and Tips
Preheat the oven to 350°. Heat the oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Add the onions, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 30 minutes.
Stir the cinnamon and ginger into the onions, then add the chicken pieces, stirring to coat with the flavorings. Add the water, lemon juice and saffron and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer, moving the chicken pieces around for even cooking until the breasts are just done, about 25 minutes. Transfer the breasts to a cutting board and cut them in half crosswise, then transfer them to a platter and cover with foil. Continue cooking the drumsticks and thighs until done, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to the platter. Boil the cooking liquid over high heat until reduced to about 3 cups, about 35 minutes.
In a food processor, pulse the almonds until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the honey and rose water.
Remove the skin from the chicken and transfer to a large, shallow baking dish. Pour the reduced sauce over the chicken and spread with the almond paste. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the topping is browned. Serve hot.
The recipe can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Spread the almond paste on the chicken just before baking.
Rose water is available at specialty food stores.